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So You Think You Can Cook?

Test your skills with David Kinch's Arpège Farm Egg.

Chef David Kinch of Manresa believes you can cook the Arpège Farm Egg at home—and we do too! But you're going to need some help. The following recipe is straight out of Kinch's new cookbook, released today, Manresa: An Edible Reflection, written with Christine Muhlke. While some might be tempted to simplify this recipe, we're bringing you the full Monty. “None of [the recipes in the book] are dumbed down," Kinch tells us. "They are honest and true to how we cook in the restaurant. Lots of recipes have different components to them but they are all fairly simple and can be used for different purposes.” Kinch says the cookbook is “like a souvenir of the restaurant. Ninety percent of the dishes that we have in this book are pretty much creations from the past year and a half. The other ten percent are signature dishes.” 

ARPÈGE FARM EGG
Serves 8

EQUIPMENT NOTE: Removing the top from a raw egg takes a delicate touch. Most home cooks will find that a scissors-style egg topper is the easiest to use.

8 farm-fresh eggs

With an egg topper or serrated knife, cut off the top of the narrow end of each eggshell, perpendicular to the long axis of the egg, about 1/2 inch from the end. Keep the eggs upright by replacing them in their carton. Pour the egg whites and yolks into a bowl, making sure not to break the yolks. With your fingers, clean the cut rim of the shells to get rid of any rough edges or fragments and remove any of the interior membrane extending out of the shell. Rinse the inside of each shell with cold water. Carefully pick up each egg yolk, strain as much of the white as possible through your fingers back into the bowl, and slip the yolk back into an eggshell. (You can float the eggs in a bowl of cold water to clean the outside of the shells.) Dry the shells, return the eggs to the carton, cover with a piece of plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours before serving. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.

Sherry Cream:

100 grams (7 tablespoons) cold heavy cream
5 grams (1 teaspoon) sherry vinegar, 8 percent acidity
2 grams (scant 1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt, plus more as needed

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Plastic pastry bag

Combine the cream, sherry vinegar, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk until the cream begins to thicken. Adjust the seasoning by adding a pinch of salt, if necessary. Whisk until the cream forms soft peaks, spoon into a plastic pastry bag, and tie the top of the bag. If not using the cream immediately, refrigerate the pastry bag.

To Serve:

Fleur de sel de Guérande
Ground ginger
1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
Aged maple syrup (may be flavored with bourbon and/or vanilla)

Choose a pot that will fit all of the eggs, fill halfway with water, and heat to 176°F (80°C). Adjust the heat to maintain this temperature. Season each egg evenly with a pinch each of fleur de sel and ginger, then sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon chives evenly over the surface of the egg yolk in each shell. Float the eggs in the almost-simmering water and allow them to poach for 75 to 90 seconds. If you pick up an egg and gently wiggle the shell, the yolk should be stable at the perimeter, yet have more give and “wobble” at the very center. Of course, if you prefer to have the yolks a bit less runny, you may cook them a little longer. Remove the eggs from the water, quickly dry the outside of the shells, and place each in an egg cup. Cut a small opening in the tip of the pastry bag and pipe some Sherry Cream into each shell, beginning with the tip just above the yolk. Leave a small peak in the center of the cream and have the peak level with, or slightly below, the cut edge of the shell. Drizzle 5 or 6 drops of the maple syrup in a circle on top of the cream. If the cream is the proper consistency, the syrup will threaten to sink into the cream but remain on the surface. Serve immediately with a demitasse spoon.

Reprinted with permission from Manresa by David Kinch with Christine Muhlke, © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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